Two weeks after voters approved a school uniform policy, North Layton Junior High still hasn't received the onslaught.
No parent phone calls. No student protests. No letters."We are happily amazed with how well the process went," said John Zurbuchen, principal of the Davis District school. "It's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out. . . . There's no role model for us. We are undoubtedly going to make some errors. We are going into unexplored territory."
North Layton is the state's first middle-level school to pass a uniform policy.
Students later this month will vote whether to name burgundy, forest green or navy as the accent to white and khaki in dress shirts, sweaters, slacks and dress shorts. Pants more than two sizes too big are out. So are jeans, "which kills me. I wear denim every day," Zurbuchen said.
Zurbuchen says he will wear a uniform. Teachers may choose whether to do so.
The voluntary policy, to be implemented next fall, received 72 percent voter approval and none of the backlash that rattled Mueller Park Junior High School last year.
That Bountiful community split over a uniform proposal, with some anti-uniform advocates comparing proponents to Nazis. The proposal received a majority of the vote, but failed to garner a required two-thirds majority.
A dress code policy approved last month by the Davis Board of Education requires a majority vote to implement voluntary uniform policies. Two-thirds voter approval can mandate uniforms, but North Layton will keep compliance voluntary. The district policy was in place 10 days before North Layton's vote.
"We didn't come to the parents trying to shove this down their throats," said Blaine Bell, chairman of public affairs for the school community council. He says other school communities have called about the new policy.
"We were a bit surprised. After the Mueller Park experience, we thought it would be more contentious."
Uniforms came up last fall when the council discussed how to improve programs, Bell said. Some teachers reported that certain types of clothing can be disruptive.
Nibley Park Elementary, a Salt Lake school with a mandatory uniform policy, has reported decreased office referrals, graffiti and student altercations because of its uniform policy. Uniforms also are said to level socioeco-nomic differences.
Zurbuchen says no data suggests uniforms are the source of improved behavior, but he has noticed that students behave better on "dance days" than any other day. Students must wear their best clothes on such days for admission to dances.
While not all students want uniforms, many of their leaders do.
"At first, I thought it was a pretty bad idea. But when I started looking into it deeper and seeing what positive things it could do for our school, I liked it more," said Alicia Washington, seventh-grade vice president, who thinks uniforms will gain popularity after next week's uniform fashion show.
"If one student wears something, another student will start to wear it and think it's cool. Pretty soon, I don't think it will be a big issue anymore."